Headboards: A Cautionary Tale

Think you're ready to move in with your lover? Don't forget this essential step.

Headboards: A Cautionary Tale
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I have been fortunate enough to have had three wonderful nesting partners in my adult life. (Sequentially, that is. Having three lovers at the same time is the subject for a future article.)

These three women (also known as my first wife, my second wife, and my current girlfriend) have vastly different approaches to life, love, and of course, sex.

Some of these differences, especially in the realm of sex, were quite a surprise to me, and I only discovered them after we moved in together.

Let me provide for you the number one factor in determining your cohabitating sex life.


When first sharing space with a partner, many decisions and compromises are made. Every couple who has faced this adventure knows what I'm talking about.

You combine book and DVD collections, decide whose Netflix account and whose Amazon Prime account to keep, figure out which dishes stay, and which furniture goes. Finally, you divide up the household chores and finances, and can begin living together.

With any luck, you reach that point with a modicum of arguments.

It is a seemingly endless barrage of micro-decisions, all done in the name of love and companionship and financial reasoning, and at the end, your relationship survives the process, and you two begin to thrive in the wonder that is cohabitation.

There is, however, one often-overlooked, yet crucial element in the final merger: the bed, or more succinctly, the bed's headboard.

Bear with me.


In nearly every nesting situation there is one shared bed. Sometimes the bed previously belonged to one of the partners. Sometimes it is purchased for the new living situation. Either way, when the happy couple moves in together, they choose a bed and a headboard.

It wasn’t until recently I discovered exactly how important that damn headboard is. All it took was for me to look back on my past relationships

Oh, you may laugh now, but mark my words, while you two are giggling over selecting a mattress in a mattress store, there is a looming decision that will portend the flavor of the relationship, or at least the flavor of the bedroom activities yet to come.

Allow me to illustrate.

Headboard #1

Shortly before we were married, my first wife and I searched for the perfect marital bed. After much shopping and discussing, we finally settled on a medium-motion, queen size waterbed with a cushioned frame. Sounds exciting, right?

I had never had sex in a waterbed before, but I had heard that doing so on a full-motion was like playing handball against the drapes, so medium-motion seemed to be a better choice. And the padded sides? Well, we wouldn’t want to injure ourselves, would we? It seemed perfect.

Then it was time for the last decision: The headboard. We both decided on a thick, solid, wooden bookshelf of a headboard. We were both readers so it seemed appropriate, and since one can never have too many bookshelves, it made sense. There was one immediate issue, though. This headboard was freestanding, and merely rested on the frame. A disaster waiting to happen if there is to be much activity on the bed.

The marriage began in wedded bliss, but admittedly our sex life never really got off the ground. It was fun, but not the earth-shaking waterbed ecstasy that should possess a newly-married, young couple on quite a regular basis. Our bedroom activities eventually devolved into laying around, each of us reading a book we selected from the bookshelf headboard. A headboard that, in the end, was never in danger of falling off from the incredibly mild activity.

In the end, I believe it was the headboard that predicted the flavor of the bedroom activities.

(Don’t believe me? Let’s have another go).

Headboards #2-4

I lived with my second wife for two years before we got married. For the first couple of months, we started out on an air mattress in her bare apartment. We nearly popped that queen size double-height air mattress on numerous occasions, our love-making so rambunctious. There was no headboard. No predictor of flavor. Without a headboard, there seemed to be no boundaries to our lovemaking.

However, once she was sure she was staying in town, she sent for her furniture. Along with the moving truck came a real, queen-sized bed, and a headboard. A conservative, posh, fluffy, and pink headboard. And with the installation of that headboard, sex became predictable, good, but predictable, and... posh.

A few years later, we moved and bought a new bedroom set. This new set was made of dark, thick wood, and came with a matching headboard that was solid and curved, and covered in leather padding. It ushered in a wonderfully primal, yet brief, era in our sex life.

And then came the day she decided the bed was "too manly" for her and talked me into giving it to a friend of ours (who shortly after conceived a child in it). The headboard we purchased to replace it, returned us to posh and delicate, and in the end, portended the end of our sex life.

(Still with me? Good. It gets better).

Headboard #5

After my second divorce, I lived alone while rebuilding and reinventing myself. I slept in a queen-size bed with a black, wicker headboard. It was also this bed I entertained in. Its headboard was brooding and versatile, much like myself and the women I invited into the bed.

Headboard #6

Eventually, I fell in love with a woman, and after a few months of dating, we agreed that the worst part of our day was saying goodbye to each other. So we decided to remove that part of our day by moving in together.

The cohabitation process went more smoothly than expected. We combined Netflix and Amazon accounts, divided household chores and expenses, and even selected whose bed we were going to use. And we did so without issue.

The problem came when we needed to choose a headboard. When the time came, she took my hand in hers, and told me that my headboard just wouldn't do. It was too fragile for what she had in mind.

I was obviously intrigued. I was also cautious, for I had become too aware of the predictive, and even vindictive, nature of headboards. I asked what was so much better about the headboard on her bed.

She shook her head and replied, "No, not that headboard. I bought a new one last year, but haven't had the need to unbox it yet. I want to use my new one."

Curious, I opened the box she motioned to, and although it took all my strength, I lifted out an immensely heavy, black, wrought iron headboard. This beast of a headboard was the antithesis of wicker and anything but posh.

I bolted it onto our bed (no falling bookshelf headboards this time!) without delay, and we immediately put the bed/headboard combo into action.

That was six months ago, and my new and constantly evolving, incredible sex life has never been better.

There was one non-sexual adjustment we had to make, however, and that was to the budget. We chose to lower our "eating out" budget, so that we would have room to add a budget for purchases of rope, blindfolds, handcuffs, fetish convention tickets, etc.


I can safely say that I am finally, emphatically, unequivocally happy with the predictive nature of headboards. And in turn, I need to warn you, dear reader: when moving in with your new nesting partner, for the love of love-making, please choose your headboard carefully.

Christopher Happenstance
Christopher Happenstance
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Christopher Happenstance

Christopher is an explorer of all life has to offer and is currently compiling his latest adventures in his book "Four Lovers and No Job", to be published in 2020.

See all posts by Christopher Happenstance